Lot: 26

95th Tribal Art Auction

Shell currency "tambu" or "tabu"

Papua New Guinea - East New Britain - Tolai

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
D: ca. 11.8 inch 1000 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

snail shells ("nassarius arcularis jonasii"), The length of the strung shell strands averaged about six feet with approximately 320 shells which were then rolled into large hoops; they served as a means of payment and bride price and represented a symbol of prestige.